I’m almost embarrassed to admit how excited I get over those little, basic, skills that people have been doing as part of normal, everyday life for countless centuries. Being a newbie at all things even remotely related to homesteading, (with the exception of growing small planter gardens) taking my blackberries and turning them into something I can spread on toast (preferably San Francisco Sourdough!!!) makes me so happy!! I feel like an out-of-the-ordinary homesteading geek…..meaning if other homesteaders (I totally do not even feel that I am qualified to fit into that category) read this blog, they would probably think I’m a geek-homesteading-wanna-be! This is all such a huge experiment for me…I feel like a kid in a candy shop!!
Last summer was the first time I attempted to make blackberry jam. Looking online, I found that you can make jam with our without pectin. Pectin?? What the heck is Pectin?? So I chose not to use that unfamiliar product, and go with what I knew….berries and sugar. I found a recipe at http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/08/how-to-make-blackberry-or-raspberry-jam/ that allowed me to do just that.
Basically, its 1 cup of sugar, to 1 cup of berries and 2 tbsp. lemon juice. That’s it! Simple and to the point. I like fruit products that are a little more tart than sweet, so I reduced the sugar amount to about 3/4 of a cup (or a little less, but more than a 1/2) for each cup of berries. I also prefer seedless jam, so I blended just the berries, then smashed the liquid through a strainer leaving the seeds behind. The result was a very smooth, tart, yet sweet, delicious blackberry jam. Without Pectin, it doesn’t last as long in the fridge…but in my home, it gets eaten up pretty quickly. So here is the process…(most of these pictures were taken from last year’s jam production.)